Breaking the Bread Habit

breaking the bread habitNo matter how you slice it, more and more research is showing that bread shouldn’t really have pride of place in the modern dirt. Whether you are paleo, macrobiotic, or just watching your weight a little, cutting bread from the menu seems to correlate with less bloating, fewer sugary cravings, sustained saeity between meals, and better results aesthetically.

Despite all of that, bread has been such a staple for so long, that it’s understandably hard to just quit it, cold turkey.

We thought we’d share with you some of the best alternatives to bread we’ve discovered since…well, since sliced bread!

Portobello mushrooms:
Sandwiches are *the* most popular lunchtime meal. And a traditional sandwich is meat and/or veg, between two slices of bread. The bread essentially acts as a container for the inner filling (and possibly also a surface to house a condiment) but often can distract from the flavors within and fill you up before you finish all the good stuff in the middle.

Try replacing each slice of bread with a portobello mushroom. It achieves the same effect of ‘sandwiching the filling’, with the added bonus of adding nutritious protein and fibre to your meal! You can try pre-baking your mushroom slices or using them raw for different flavors – either way, your lunch will thank you!

Filling suggestion: burgers, ham and cheese.

Lettuce wraps:
In a similar vein, wraps have come a long way in usurping the sandwich market. We think corn wraps are in theory a great alternative to bread, but are wary of them because a lot of them still contain wheat.

Try wrapping your food in a fresh lettuce leaf instead. This adds a much fresher flavor to the food, and is a much lower-calorie alternative to bread or wraps. It’s a particularly refreshing alternative in the summer…with the added bonus that it looks so cool!

Filling suggestion: fajita meat, prawns and cole slaw

Stuffed bell peppers:
This is one of our favorites. Peppers are like the Tardis of vegetables – slice off the top, and you have enough room to house a whole meal within. It’s almost like storing your food in an edible pot!

They will enhance your food with a sweet tanginess, as they have more flavor than mushrooms or lettuce, and will add a delicious crunch to your meal.

Filling suggestion: tuna salad, egg and cress.

There are plenty of other ways to cut out breads from your diet. Try making pizza bases out of ground nuts, or dipping crudites instead of breadsticks in hummus and tapenades.

Whole grains like brown rice and quinoa are also great accompaniments to stews and curries, while lentils and legumes such as chickpeas help fill you up without distending your stomach.

Ultimately the best way to kick your bread habit is to get creative. Once you start, you’ll soon forget bread was ever part of your daily life.

Let us know how you get on, and share any great discoveries you make with us @AB_MXR!

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